Hot off the press: Early runs on the board have meant Fisher, Milford and Tower KiwiSaver funds have been able to post double digit returns

Hot off the press: Early runs on the board have meant Fisher, Milford and Tower KiwiSaver funds have been able to post double digit returns

By Craig Simpson

Each quarter we take an indepth look at the major KiwiSaver providers and provide an over-view of how the KiwiSaver schemes have performed compared with their peers and market benchmarks.

This time around we are also providing an early look at some of the performance numbers for the second quarter of 2013 to June.

The combined effects of the US Fed communicating their intentions of tapering back their monthly bond buying program along with fears of a financial crisis in China, hit markets hard in May/June and many KiwiSaver managers will have felt the impact of this over the last quarter.

We are starting to see some short-term (over 1-month and 3-months) negative returns coming through in our data and this will be paring some of the returns back. This is especially evident in the more conservative funds where capital losses have been incurred on fixed income strategies due to rising interest rates and the continued uncertainty over the Fed's tapering program.

The more aggressive or equity heavy funds have held on to a large portion of the gains made over the previous 10-months or so to record solid performance over all time periods.

Milford's Active Growth Fund continues to be the star performer across the KiwiSaver spectrum and the manager has posted double-digit returns across one to five-year time frames.

The Active Growth Fund is approximately 8% ahead of Fisher Funds Growth Fund and approximately 10% ahead of the equivalent Tower Fund over the past 12-month period. Milford's performance is also superior over the longer time frames also.

Interestingly, the returns from the various Fisher Funds have turned the tables on Tower's KiwiSaver funds and are now performing better across most periods. As many readers will know Tower was recently purchased by Fisher Funds. There have also been some key personnel changes with many of the old Tower managers finding themselves surplus to requirements.

Inevitably there will be some short-term variances in performance between the Fisher and Tower portfolios until the new owners have had time to unwind the old positions and implement their own philosophy and processes in the portfolios.

To calculate these initial returns we have simply used published unit prices and annualised the change in the unit price.

This enables us to provide you with a sneak peek into the latest results of how your fund may have performed.

The return data is before tax (at the investor's personal tax rate) and after fund management fees have been deducted.

These returns may vary slightly from those published by the managers due to rounding and/or the additional adjustments made by some managers to account for taxable income and tax credits under the Portfolio Investment Entity (PIE) regime.

As more data and information comes to hand, our more complete analysis will be posted on the website so keep a look out for these over the coming two to three weeks.

The arrows in the table indicate whether the returns are above, below or roughly the same as those returns calculated for the previous quarter (i.e. as at 31 March 2013).

Fisher Funds (30/6/2013) 1yr 2yrs 3yrs 4yrs 5yrs
  % % % % %
Conservative Fund 7.6 6.0 6.1 4.6 n/a
Growth Fund 18.8 7.4 9.3 11.1 7.9
Balanced Fund (50/50 blend of Conservative & Growth) 13.1 6.8 7.8 7.9 n/a

Our previous story covering Fisher Fund's KiwiSaver returns for 31 March 2013 can be found here.

Milford  (30/6/2013) 1yr 2yrs 3yrs 4yrs 5yrs
  % % % % %
Balanced Fund 20.3 12.6 11.2 n/a n/a
Active Growth Fund 26.0 17.7 14.8 13.8 12.8
Conservative Fund* n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

* this fund has not been going for a full 12 months yet.

Our previous story covering Milford's KiwiSaver returns for 31 March 2013 can be found here.

Tower (30/6/2013) 1yr 2yrs 3yrs 4yrs 5yrs
  % % % % %
Preservation Fund 3.6 3.2 3.2 3.2 3.7
Cash Enhanced Fund 5.7 5.6 5.6 5.9 5.0
Conservative Fund 7.0 6.1 6.1 7.3 5.4
Balanced Fund 11.8 6.7 7.2 8.1 4.8
Growth Fund 16.4 7.5 8.4 9.41 4.2
Equity Fund 16.7 5.2 7.6 8.5 1.8

Our previous story covering Tower's KiwiSaver returns for 31 March 2013 can be found here.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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Milford seem to have acheived pretty good numbers.
Perhaps it's thier investment in Xero, which i see today reached a market cap of over 2.1B (yes that's B for Billion).
On May 23, Xero reported a $14.4 million loss for the 12 months ended March 31, from a loss of $7.9 million a year earlier.
Operating revenue rose 102% to $39 million.
Anybody out there got a view on Xero?

agree.... Xero would have made a massive difference, it's 9 times the share price of just 2 years ago!
Insane that a company that still makes a loss can be valued so highly, but I guess that's the Silicon Valley model isn't it? Same thing with Twitter and all those types of companies.